COP 14 Science Day Key Messages to the High Level Political segment

It’s time to fast-track action to save our land, Key messages from the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface, for the Ministerial Segment at COP 14 September 2019, New Delhi

Healthy land is fundamental to feeding the world, tackling climate change, purifying and conserving water, improving air quality, ensuring human well-being and protecting nature. Avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation is essential for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Land is key to meeting the Paris Agreement. The theoretical potential for climate change mitigation through increasing carbon in vegetation and soil is vast:  14-37 GtCO2e (up to 10 GtC)] per year [1, 3]. This includes  1.9-5.2 GtCO2e (0.5-1.4 GtC) from soil carbon sequestration through land restoration in the drylands [4]. For comparison, the gap between projected global emissions without climate policy and the +2°C target for 2030 is 25 GtCO2e [5]. However, land can realistically contribute only a portion of the mitigation and carbon dioxide removal required to stabilise the climate  – strong action is also required to achieve rapid decarbonisation across all sectors [1].

read more: Agriculture is both a cause and a casualty of land degradation, The cost of land degradation is far greater than the cost of reversing land degradation, Effective and inclusive land governance is needed, etc..